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Are you more open and honest online than in person?

Over 50,000 people were surveyed. Here’s what they found: 60% of respondents in the U.S. said they were more honest with their online friends than with friends they see in person. The survey also found that people are more open on the internet and the majority of the world prefers to discuss their sex life with online friends. In my experience, I have found that online friendships facilitate a frankness that is rare in face-to-face interactions.


What about you? Do you find that you tend to be more honest and open with online friends than with friends you hang out with in person?

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VictoriaNotes 9 Jan 22

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Online is the censored version because I have time to consider what I'm saying.


It is always easier to be truthful with strangers. It's why I pay for a therapist.


In some ways yes, because there's less at stake, and you can't get punched through the computer screen. πŸ™‚

skado Level 8 Jan 22, 2018

Thank you for posting this. I discussed the disinhibition effect in one of my blog posts last year when I wrote a post about the profoundly positive effect the online community has had on me. I'll quote from your link:

*"Online disinhibition can also have positive outcomes. People that are shy, that feel they can't talk about certain things in their real lives, that may have no vocal outlet can benefit from online disinhibition without causing harm to others.

The anonymity of being online allows people to self-disclose more than they do in-person. Online disinhibition can provide a safe place for people of the LGBTQ community (and other marginalized groups) to share information and support one another. It can help students be more interactive in online classrooms than they are in real classrooms.*"

@VictoriaNotes I agree. A few years back I was expressing my opinion (at the time) that people were artificially rude online, just because they could get away with it. Another person suggested that, in fact, they are more likely finally being more forthcoming than they ever felt they could in person, and after giving it some thought, I decided he was probably right.


I believe in honesty. Probably even more so in my personal relationships. You're only as good as your word.


I am honest and open in person too. Just saw an good friend I haven't seen in 4 years and just met two old friends of his for the first time. In a day and a half we were talking like we had known each other for years.


It's much easier with friends that aren't around to judge you. If you don't agree with them, you can always stop talking to them. Friendships in person take years to build and are much harder to just walk away from, so the barriers are a little tighter because there is more to lose by overstepping.

Thats not what I mean. I just mean secrets and especially perversions.


Sorry to tell you but... I can't read body language or eyes online.

So are you suggesting that you are less likely to be open and honest with your friends online?

@VictoriaNotes I was looking it from the opposite direction... That I am less likely to recognize their lies because I can't see body language or look at them eye to eye.

@GipsyOfNewSpain But this post wasn't about lying. It was a direct question about whether you are more open and honest with your friends online than in person. So, again, are you suggesting that because you can't see your friends eyes and body language online that you are less likely to be open and honest with them?

@VictoriaNotes I am the same honest online as I am in person.. because "if you always tell the truth... you don't have to remember what you said." I think Harry Truman said that. My choice of poison always going to be face to face without keyboard for a middleman. I like to observe people, mannerisms, faces they make, tone of voice, eyes gaze, I could spend here a week talking to someone and you give me 10 minutes observing her in her environment and I may have more valuable data for what I desire. Example in my club days... I will spend time watching a woman behaviour before I approach her. Personality, vanity, arrogant, accessible, friendly, nice, fake? I like face to face. What you see is what you get.

@GipsyOfNewSpain Again, this post is not about lying. It's about inhibition. Next time I ask a question, I will be more specific in my OP so that some people won't get confused about what I'm asking.

@VictoriaNotes I am the same frank and honest. I will be as candid and open. In other words I don't have an online personality that is different from my real life persona. I am sorry if I added to your question too much but interchange with individuals is a give and take, a two way street so I will observe and study the exchange and process in real time... with all the conclusions of trust or mistrust of the other member in the exchange. I been doing this type of communication online type since 1980 because I was a Radioman in the Navy. We communicated via order wire on teletypes using radios. You communicate while at sea... you recognize the chops when talking to a shore facility... you try to see if there could be connection when you hit that liberty port. I am the same because always been the same. Maybe best example to give you... Greece... Just meet this young lady... subject came about sex... I told her I don't want to discuss sex with you if you are not willing to go home with me tonight... her response was she would. So we discussed sex. In this typing venue. My question has little value or functionality and much less reward. I am just practical besides being honest. 'Sorry for the confusion or addition but why shouldn't I mistrust? We are still strangers after all... a troll has same access as mister honest or miss honesty.

@VictoriaNotes I was looking for the body language thing and you gave it. We all have different body language signals and what one person gets away with another gets slugged. My late partner was a master at that. At 5'0" (the zero was important), dark haired, petite and with a slight accent and big smile she could and did get away with discussing anything and she loved controversy. Others have told he if they said what she said they would get slugged. She would have marked definitely NO.

I have been there and have found revealing how you feel about politics, social issues (like Immigration or social justice issues) can be really upsetting for some. Online we may get into accusations, name calling and even threats but ones anonymity protects one. Noses don't get broken online. I have learned who to trust with what information.

@JackPedigo Right. Was she that open when she lived in Iran? Could she talk freely about her atheism? When I deconverted, I had no one in real life that I could open up to. I couldn't share my painstaking journey with my family. Their faith would feel threatened. When I did share with my partner/husband it resulted in divorce. When I shared with my friends, that resulted in losing my social network. Only one Christian friend didn't dump me but I still can't be fully open with her because she gets defensive.

@VictoriaNotes Funny, you should ask. I mentioned this before but she always said that with her mouth if she had stayed in Iran she would either be in jail or dead. However, after being here in the NW, she changed (the right kind of culture can do that). When she went back the family was always on pins and needles for what she would say or do. Her mother was also like that. She told me one time she met her mother at the airport some of her (mother's) hair was showing under her scarf. Some young "morality police" guy told her "madam cover your hair". Her mother told the guy that is was nice that at her age she could excite a young man and to go do something more important. He left.

I am truly sorry for your position and other's as well. I know in some countries it can get you killed. Learning what other's have had to deal with helps motivate me to do something simply because I can and it is important. At the FFRF conferences I meet and talk to a lot of people living in these areas. There is real movement toward more secularism on most of those areas albeit some at a snail's pace.


Anonymity, baby! Let ' er rip!

@Stevil. Haha so funny... bc I make a point to read all the comments if I can first, so I don't repeat anything that's already been said. Plus I'm lazy so if anyone beats me to what I want to say I can just say "What he said" and save myself some typing πŸ˜‰


Other than having the opportunity to type my answers and perhaps the ability to filter an answer, I am the same person online and in person, albeit a bit more humorous in person (facial expressions and mannerisms). I do, however, have a tendency to be without a filter in certain social situations (which can also be humorous and sometimes awkward or unintentionally unkind). At least I am honest about it. πŸ˜‰

hahaha! yes, social faux pas ! Maybe we all do that, but it's still awkward, and embarrassing !


I think I am to a certain point. It's not like I'm Donald Trump in person.


I will admit I have had the thought that I have less to lose online being open and honest. Also, finding more like minded people online has increased my confidence in speaking my mind face to face, in a community where my views are definitely in the minority. Online communication can lead to more aggressive debates. I'm learning not to do that.


I am a listener. Which doesn't come across well on the interwebs. But what you read is what you get, but with more diversity.

I can hear the silence


I'm less open online about most things. This shits collated.


Me is me - no matter where.

In fact a couple people I met from online sources, said I spoke like I write - only funnier.

I liked that. (smile)


I think that is true for me in many relationships, primarily because in my personal friendships I do not want to run the risk of losing them, well, most of them, anyway because of being too frank. Whereas, there is not as much invested with online relationships, which are usually more like acquaintences.


In face-to-face friendships, my honesty and frankness will depends on the person, but if I was to compare the person I am most honest with, then for me it's 49-51 in favour of on-line. What I will say is that it's easier to be open on-line thanks to the semi anonymity you get in this environment. And as someone said, having the chance to edit a response is a huge plus.


I am what you read here or see in person...crazy older fuckerπŸ™‚

That was snort-worthy. πŸ˜€


I am the same no matter where I am. Why would I be less the honest and open in person than on line? I realize I am an odd duck.

Well, you live in Washington state for one. Come to Mississippi where I live and be open and honest about anti-theism and see how far that gets you. You won't have many friends because they are mostly conservative Christians and most unbelievers here can't be that open or they could lose their job, a spouse, their social network, etc.

@VictoriaNotes YIKES, how ever do you do it? I do understand, I am in eastern wa a much more conservative area but since I am single, retired, past menopause, play well alone and really don't give a fuck what christians think I do okay. I had a woman in the apartment complex ask me if I was religious, I told her 'Ya know god had nothing to do with religion don't you?' silence and then,' It's really none of your business what I believe." she has not brought it up since and still talks to me. On line I have to remember people lie. In person they'll do it to your face but most of the time my bullshit meter works pretty good.

@silverotter11 I like your style. Lol

Btw, this post wasn't about lying. It was about inhibition or the lack thereof.

@VictoriaNotes You have no idea how easy it is for me to get off track. lol and once ya get thru menopause all bets are off. The social shield sort of disappears.

@silverotter11 Yeah, I'd like to see how long your spunk would last in the state I live in. Lol

@VictoriaNotes LMAO- they'd drum me outta town so fast!! I don't get in someones face unless they bring it on me. I am pretty low key but if you flat out ask me what I think I let 'er rip.

@VictoriaNote If you have a job and relationship and you don't want to leave town you have to get along. I think the christian faction is just less forgiving(is that the right word) to non-believers who come out.

@silverotter11 Indeed, and that's putting it lightly.


I was a computer user @2400 baud and ran my own small BBS so I knew early on how little privacy there is in a private conversation.

I am sometimes too open in person whereas I'm a bit reticent online unless it is someone I know fairly well.

On rare occasions, something will strike a nerve and I will overshare LOL


About the same just depends on how well I know you.


I am the same online and off line. Lies are childish and silly.

This post isn't about lying. It's about being more open and honest. I may not share certain things with people in my offline life that I will share online. That does not mean I'm lying to those in my offline life. Do you see the difference?

@VictoriaNotes I totally get you my dear and my response is still the same. I am basically an open book without the sacrifice of my private Identifying or financial info on lineπŸ™‚

I won't lie on or offline. I would see the difference as the degree if disclosure, not weather I am truthful about what I say or not

@btroje I like her question. I am pretty much the same. what you see is what you get. I have observed people go to great lengths to create a fantasy life...I don't have that kind of time.


Online is ALL bullshit

LOL -- are you projecting?


I'm pretty honest in both scenarios. I try to be frank and to the point at the best of my ability both online and in person; though my lack of eloquence makes it a bit difficult.


With me, what you see is what you get. I am truthful both ways. Also, I don't tell all I know. Somethings are better unsaid.


I'm the same in all situations.

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